Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 10,689 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 12 Years a Slave
Lowest review score: 0 8MM
Score distribution:
10689 movie reviews
  1. Aftermath is a bombshell disguised as a thriller.
  2. The details are mesmerizing as is the rule-breaking psychology behind it.
  3. It may seem like nothing much is happening on-screen, but by the time A Summer's Tale is all over, it feels like everything important has been said and done. Welcome to the magic of Rohmer, one final time.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A wonderfully heart-wrenching love story for tweens, teens, and even adults who fondly remember when a friendship could be ignited by a gesture as simple as offering a stick of Juicy Fruit.
  4. It's a welcome throwback to the days when the world didn't have to end or tanker trucks explode to get an action audience's attention.
  5. Subtly acted, with Aridjis showing remarkable trust in her performers, The Favor is that rare film that at every turn exhibits good taste and a sense of restraint.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a nearly pitch-perfect melding of genres, influences and modes of expression--it's the first Mafia movie for the hip-hop age.
  6. This is no nostalgia trip taken by an 83-year-old director. It's a fierce, hot slap of a movie, a shameless melodrama with bite.
  7. Adventurous, ambitious and ingeniously futuristic, Sleep Dealer is a welcome surprise. It combines visually arresting science fiction done on a budget with a strong sense of social commentary in a way that few films attempt, let alone achieve.
  8. Lives up to its ambitiousness in all its aspects.
  9. A fascinating, veritable self-portrait, masterfully culled from a trove of archival materials.
  10. A small-scale gem of a movie, both dramatically aware and psychologically astute.
  11. An understated gem. Writer-director Jeff Nichols, making his feature debut, has created a richly textured world.
  12. As meditative and beautiful as its title would indicate. What is a surprise is the extent to which it manages to be involving if you can put yourself on its wavelength.
  13. As unusual and idiosyncratic as its one-of-a-kind title. You'd expect no less from Terry Gilliam, and admirers of this singular filmmaker will be pleased to know that "Imaginarium" is one of his most original and accessible works.
  14. Kontroll is in fact an allegory, but one that oozes a gritty, dynamic realism.
  15. A delicate, unforced meditation on the bonds of family and the joys and wonders hidden in everyday life, this film is able to move audiences without apparent effort, and that must be experienced firsthand to be appreciated and understood.
  16. This is an extremely cinematic, beautifully made David Lean-type epic, helped by fluid and involving camera work by two-time Oscar-winning ("The Killing Fields," "The Mission") cinematographer Chris Menges.
  17. Where most movies lie, Lorenzo's Oil tells the truth and pays the price. In a genre rife with romantic sentimentality, this film won't trifle with its integrity and ends up not artificially uplifting but heart-rending and exhausting. Based on a true story, it shows how dreadfully hard you have to fight to make a difference, and how grueling it can be to save even a single human life.
  18. Starring an ideally cast Patton Oswalt in the title role, Big Fan is a poignant, dead-on character study, an examination of a crisis in the life of the most die-hard of die-hard New York Giants football fans.
  19. Heartening and unashamedly emotional, it's a certified crowd pleaser that doesn't care who knows it.
  20. Writer-director Richard Ayoade has the knack. A fresh and inventive cinematic voice, he's taken a subject that's been beaten half to death and brought it miraculously to life in his smart and funny debut feature, Submarine.
  21. In recent years, South Korean cinema has fully flowered, producing both uncompromising highly personal films and crisp, intelligent genre movies, with Shiri the most spectacular example of the latter to date.
  22. Alternately satirical and romantic, full of pain and humor, Buffalo '66 is a winner.
  23. A mature, accomplished piece of work, both funny and deeply felt, personal cinema of the best kind...Levinson has made the memory film we always hoped he would.
  24. Sophisticated in its ease and spontaneity, it was directed with clarity and rigor by Auraeus Solito from Michiiko Yamamoto's acutely perceptive script.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Citizen Kane does occasionally sink to dullness because of its reiterations, notwithstanding it can be classified as, in a number of aspects, one of the most arresting pictures ever produced.
  25. It is a film of uncommon intelligence and rigor that illuminates a complex era, and the romance at its center is also one of exceptional passion and honesty.
  26. Egoyan understands how potent a deliberate pace can be, how effective it is in making already powerful material strong enough to tear at your heart.
  27. Don't mistake the brief running time of India's Daughter for a lack of importance or ability to involve. Though it lasts only 63 minutes, this documentary's impact is devastating.
  28. [A] captivating documentary.
  29. The Railway Man is an impressively crafted, skillfully acted, highly absorbing journey into a dark corner of world history.
  30. The ensemble shines in demonstrating the complexities of the individuals who either endure or exploit this system of abusive power dynamics.
  31. The reason it never ceases to compel is not only the skill of the actors but also the kind of provocative and thoughtful dialogue that characterizes intellectual combat of a high order.
  32. At its heart, and there is a great heart to be discovered here, Morgan Dews' documentary Must Read After My Death is a searing and intimate account of an unconventional woman struggling not to lose her identity or her sanity in the rigid 1950s suburban world of stay-at-home moms, well-behaved children and sparkling-clean houses.
  33. A beautifully calibrated movie in the most traditional sense of the word -- the ideal marriage of topic, talent and tone.
  34. It is the interplay between Wasikowska and Eisenberg that gives "The Double" both its tension and its charm... Their struggle captivates, the resolution shocks, and you can't help but wonder what windmills Ayoade will tilt next.
  35. That Hell or High Water makes you empathize with and understand (though not excuse) each member of this disparate quartet is a tribute to the way Taylor Sheridan’s screenplay works equally well as a thriller, character study and pointed social commentary.
  36. Though the politically incorrect language is tough enough to have earned Clerks an initial NC-17 rating (re-rated R on appeal), its exuberance gives it an alive and kicking feeling that is welcome and rare. [19 Oct 1994]
    • Los Angeles Times
  37. The latest in a recent spate of AIDS-themed documentaries, How to Survive a Plague is an exceptional portrait of a community in crisis and the focused fury of its response.
  38. A bombshell in its home country, Herod's Law is made with the kind of flair that ensures a following everywhere politicians are venal and voters hope against hope for deliverance.
  39. In a superb cast of mostly unknowns -- with the exception of Matthew Modine and Dorain Harewood -- D'Onofrio, who put on 60 pounds for this pivotal role, and Ermey are exceptional. [26 June 1987]
    • Los Angeles Times
  40. Nothing is rushed, everything is given its appropriate time and place. When we watch Hansen-Løve's films, we're not only experiencing a life unfolding before us, we're also realizing what a great privilege it is to be able to do that.
  41. A period spectacle, steeped in awesome splendor and lethal palace intrigue, it climaxes in a stupendous battle scene and epic tragedy.
  42. Illusion and disillusionment entwine through the film like twin helixes, weaving a dreamy, free-form look at his life and legacy.
  43. Perhaps the best thing about Schenk's script is that it enticed Eastwood to end his self-imposed acting hiatus and bring his one-of-a-kind aura back to the screen.
  44. There is a wonderful natural quality to Jeong's storytelling that is enhanced by cinematographer Young-hwan Choi's graceful camerawork and by a dynamic, contemporary score from M&F.
  45. Marie Antoinette gives a wide berth to the conventions of period dramas, especially their time-capsule remove, and instead tries to mainline the singular personal experience of the arch-villainess of French history (and freedom history, for that matter). The result is a startlingly original and beautiful pop reverie that comes very close to being transcendent.
  46. A graceful mood piece that is infinitely moving.
  47. The conflicts involved are intense and absorbing, proving that compelling moral dilemmas make for the most dramatic cinema.
  48. Grainily shot but radiating life, The Amazing Catfish is an enormously affecting portrait of a family in crisis that dares to hope.
  49. Haneke illuminates beautifully the lives of his people with an eye for the revealing nuance and detail.
  50. That rare movie that completely fulfills its admittedly modest aims.
  51. A dark and lovely drama about the complications of human connections that is Michael Keaton's impressive directing debut.
  52. A Brilliant Young Mind doesn't fit into any familiar inspirational box. Many of its characters are complex, contrary individuals who are not even close to being comfortable in their own skins, and this film refuses to shortchange how frustratingly edgy and difficult they are to interact with.
  53. Affleck easily orchestrates this complex film with 120 speaking parts as it moves from inside-the-Beltway espionage thriller to inside Hollywood dark comedy to gripping international hostage drama, all without missing a step.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In her first feature, writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood tells a familiar tale with first-rate acting and an underlying sense of authenticity.
    • Los Angeles Times
  54. Rapace moves through the escalating exposure with a series of subtle shifts that are both painful and exquisite to watch. The actress can make eye contact seem like salt in an open wound.
  55. Brydon and Coogan's discourse over breakfast, lunch and dinner is captured with a casualness that makes the eavesdropping delicious.
  56. So though it echoes the films of Charles Burnett, the plays of August Wilson and "A Raisin in the Sun," at its heart Middle of Nowhere is old-school, character-driven narrative at its most quietly effective.
  57. Amy
    It is the achievement of Amy, Asif Kapadia's accomplished, quietly devastating documentary, that it makes the story of this troubled and troubling individual surprisingly one of a kind by allowing us to, in a sense, live her life along with her.
  58. Gathering its forces slowly, this careful, thoughtful film, quietly but deeply moving, is dramatic without seeming to be.
  59. Faces Places turns out to be a road movie in more than a merely literal sense. It is at once a roving journey into environments we rarely see in cinema and an incomplete but invaluable map of Varda’s memories.
  60. Amore satisfying use of the medium would be difficult to imagine.
  61. The reality of François' classroom is so intense that it holds our interest even while the film's dramatic focus is building so quietly under the surface that we don't notice it at first.
  62. If there is one moment in The Language of Music that will thrill old rock fans, it's watching Dowd, his fluid hands moving with a surgeon's grace, remix for the film's benefit the 24-track sub-master of "Layla."
  63. The writer-director brilliantly juxtaposes the personal and the political, bookending a stirring coming-of-age drama with the provocative opening and an equally affecting end sequence.
  64. Smart and funny, touching and unabashedly sensual... the sweet sleeper of a hot season. [21 Aug 1987]
    • Los Angeles Times
  65. A documentary that's admirably frank about the difficulties of insightfully portraying such a widely lauded — and subtly cagey and habitually self-effacing — figure.
  66. Yet another Merchant Ivory triumph.
  67. With American independent filmmaking all too often a ready punching bag in today's cinéaste culture, this frequently dazzling, eccentric portrait of mutually assured destruction is that most delirious of combos: charmingly funny and emotionally terrifying.
  68. This graceful and wise film moves to its denouement with subtlety and, at its end, strikes a note that seems just right for all that has gone before.
  69. What “black lives matter” means in essence, one of this film’s voices says, “is that all lives matter,” a point “13th” makes with undeniable eloquence as well as persuasive force.
  70. Good-humored and just about reeking of innocence, That Thing You Do! is what a character has in mind when he asks for "something happy, peppy, up-tempo." Leaving audiences feeling good is very much, and very successfully, on its mind. [04 Oct 1996, Pg.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  71. It could have done with fewer plot devices, but it is ultimately far more satisfying than countless less ambitious and risky films.
  72. Though definitely one of the best American movies of the year--a work of high ensemble talent and intelligence, gorgeously mounted and crafted, artistically audacious in ways that most American movies don't even attempt--it's still a disappointment… It's not the capstone we might have wanted Coppola to make. [23 Dec 1990, Calendar, p.9]
    • Los Angeles Times
  73. This utterly compelling behind-the-scenes account of that horrific event unfolds with a potent sense of authority and authenticity.
  74. The film packs in so much information and comedy, it would be fun to see it twice: not just to take in what it has to tell us, but also to laugh all over again.
  75. Effortlessly graceful and burnished to a glow, Dinner Rush is surely as satisfying as any of the delicious-looking food served at Louis' restaurant -- and is as full of surprises as any dish Udo ever concocted.
  76. A quintessentially American story that unmistakably echoes European art house cinema, combining the aesthetic purity of France's Robert Bresson with the social consciousness of Belgium's Dardenne brothers. It also is a powerful, character-driven melodrama that easily holds our attention from first to last.
  77. Shows and tells an astonishing story, a disturbing and provocative tale of obsession, bravado and self-invention that leaves you open-mouthed for all kinds of reasons.
  78. Fouce mixes vivid, often disturbing archival footage and photos with moving latter-day interviews with several elderly Frank family members and Holocaust survivors, plus glimpses of Otto’s letters and daughter Anne’s famed writings.
  79. What emerges is a rich portrait of one of 20th century pop culture’s great facilitators, whose keen observations, quirky personality and natural affinity for the outré helped greatness happen.
  80. Some filmmakers give us dreams and false worlds in which we can find refuge. For others, though, like the young Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas, the movies aren't an escape from the world but a way more deeply into it.
  81. If you can't place the name, or want to know more, Anita is a splendid place to start.
  82. Blood Simple becomes a dazzling comedie noire, a dynamic, virtuoso display by a couple of talented fledgling filmmakers who give the conventions of the genre such a thorough workout that the result is a movie that's fresh and exhilarating (in the way that Jean-Jacques Beineix’s “Diva” was).
  83. Boldly distinctive in its depiction of individuals caught up in a veritable infernal machine designed solely to give pleasure to a monarch, Vatel is a timeless tale of love and sacrifice in a world as opulent as it is cruel.
  84. Although informed by the busy workings of history, politics and personal affairs, Neruda proceeds like a light-footed chase thriller filtered through an episode of “The Twilight Zone,” by the end of which the audience is lost in a crazily spiraling meta-narrative. Who exactly is the star and author of that narrative is one of the film’s more enticing mysteries.
  85. Wish You Were Here is mystery moviemaking at its most intriguing.
  86. Ethan Hawke, in his feature directorial debut, has brought Nicolette Burdette's play to the screen with fluid grace and a perfect blend of dreaminess and grit, expressed in camerawork that seems to float and in Jeff Tweedy's shimmering, gently insistent score.
  87. As unlikely as it is enchanting, The Eagle Huntress tells its documentary story with such sureness that falling under its sway is all but inevitable.
  88. The great achievement in writer-director Jono Oliver's poignant, superb debut, Home, lies in the balance between the film's empathy for those like Jack who seek independence and its compassion for others who may need care indefinitely.
  89. The most memorable thing about Sweet Dreams is that it allows us to experience the resilience, the capacity for happiness these women retain in spite of all they've been through. There's a lesson there for all of us.
  90. What A Bug's Life demonstrates is that when it comes to bugs, the most fun ones to hang out with hang exclusively with the gang at Pixar.
  91. Contact is superior popular filmmaking, both polished and effective. But despite its success and its serious intentions, it's finally a movie where the storytelling makes more of an impact than the story.
  92. Powered by an exceptional performance by Daniel Day-Lewis, this artfully disturbing film is a compelling, imaginative look at the potent emotional bond that forms not between romantic lovers but between fathers and daughters.
  93. What makes Look at Me such a deeply satisfying experience is its ability to combine insightful character portraits like this with wickedly funny situations that slyly skewer all-too-human weaknesses.
  94. It's just as thrilling as it is edifying.
  95. Deeply moving and devoid of melodrama, These Birds Walk is as pragmatic as its subjects.
  96. All This Panic is a deeply felt tribute to youth but also to growing up; it’s a time capsule of a fleeting, fragile moment when angst is mixed with beauty and everything seems ripe with potential.

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